Bodice ripper  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
forced seduction, rape fantasy

A bodice ripper is a genre of romance novels, often historical fiction. In the 1970s and 1980s, the heroine of such a novel often lost her virginity by force. While the genre has turned away from the trope of forced seduction, contemporary bodice rippers still feature unrestrained romantic passion, and a heroine who initially dislikes and actively resists the hero's seduction, only ultimately to be overcome by desire.

The term bodice ripper derives from the covers of the books, which generally depict a female whose bodice is being ripped by a muscular, often shirtless man. The story often features a dominant alpha male. Sometimes there will be violence, i.e. rape or physical abuse toward the heroine of the story.

The heroines of such a novel were often abducted, held for ransom, sold into slavery, forced into marriage, or captured after running away. Larger than life heroines toured the world, fell from princess to pauper, rose from gutter rat to queen. These women were frequently seduced by their alpha-heroes, sometimes forcibly.

Heroes ran the gamut from aristocrats to highwaymen, from gamblers to pirates. They were universally strong, physically fit, demanding, prone to choosing action over inaction.

These historical romances did not shy away from sensational topics such as rape, slavery, the loss of family members, and the effects of poverty and disease.

The period from 1970-1980 saw explosive growth in the sale of these books, and romance today accounts for more than 40% of all fiction commercially sold. Modern versions of the old-fashioned bodice ripper can be found by searching among books labeled Dark Romance, Erotic Romance, Romantica, Erotic Historical Romance etc.



Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Bodice ripper" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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